8 Tips for a Successful Web Seminar

by Wendy Thacker on September 17, 2010 · 0 comments

in Business,Marketing

I have a confession to make. I recently attended a web seminar event, and I did not pay attention. Yes, I am well aware that I should have paid attention but truthfully the event was long and dull. So, I thought it would be prudent to share some of my favorite tips with you. What tips do you have to share with us?

Tips for your next web seminar

  • Communication – Set the expectation in advance of the time, date, topic and how to access your event. Be sure to send reminders several days prior and the day of your event to ensure good participation. And, be sure to follow-up once the event ends. Everyone that attended is a lead that must be nurtured!
  • Scheduling – Schedule your web seminar event on a convenient date at a reasonable time. Keep in mind that some of your participants may be in time zones different from yours. You may want to consider holding two identical events or recording the event for those that cannot attend at the designated time. And, make sure that a web seminar is the appropriate marketing vehicle for audience you’re trying to reach. For example, plant managers on the floor of a manufacturing facility or field service representatives on the road aren’t “desk jobs” so consider a different way to reach these types of potential customers.
  • Start on time – Start and end your event at the promised time. Don’t keep your audience waiting until 10 minutes after the start time. You’ll lose them quickly if the line is idle. (On a side note, while your audience is waiting for the event to begin is the perfect time to advertise your business with a few quick rotating slides promoting upcoming events, promotions, new products, etc.). We call them “adverslides”, a term coined by our own Terri Potter.
  • Keep it short – A good web seminar in my book is 30 minutes or less. Anything longer and your audience will start to multi-task.
  • Be interactive – Ensure that your audience is paying attention by asking questions, encouraging participation, polling with questions, etc. during the event.
  • Compelling content – Make sure you content is pertinent and relevant to your audience. People will respond to how your solution solves their problem. Keep your slides graphically pleasing and resist the urge to fill them with verbiage. On that note, remember that your slides will not appear as crisp to the viewer as they do to you. Be careful about small graphics/words as they may be hard to read. I’ve found that content that is viewed as educational is less threatening and gets a better response than a “hard sell”. Consider educating your audience about the marketplace or a new technology as an alternative to just talking about you.
  • Engaging speaker – Your presenter should be familiar with the content and polished in presentation skills. Reading the bullet points is a big no-no as is reading a script. Your audience will know and disengage. Commentary and real-world examples help to make the presentation come alive to participants.
  • Mute the phone lines – This is a simple tip but one that is often missed. Make sure that you mute all the lines as soon as you log in to the event. Most web seminar software packages have the capability for speakers to be kept in a virtual room (so no one else hears the back and forth) prior to the event. For the Q&A at the end, I would suggest having everyone submit questions via the chat tool rather that opening all the lines. This allows you to filter the questions asked and keep everything running smoothly without interruptions.

Do you have any tips of the trade to share? Do you regularly attend web seminar events? Please share your feedback.

This post was written by

Wendy Thacker is a Merchandising Director at ScanSource Security. She has 20 years of experience In sales and marketing, 17 in distribution, and is a regular contributor to The Source on marketing, business planning and social media.

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